Page:Freud - The history of the psychoanalytic movement.djvu/18

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HISTORY OF THE PSYCHOANALYTIC MOVEMENT

nificance of the infantile sexuality can be obtained only, if one follows the path of analysis, if one goes back from the symptoms and peculiarities of neurotics to their uttermost sources, the discovery of which explains what is explainable in them, and permits of modifying what can be changed. I understand that one can arrive at different conclusions if, as was recently done by C. G. Jung, one first forms for one's self a theoretical conception of the nature of the sexual impulse and thereby tries to understand the life of the child. Such a conception can only be chosen arbitrarily or with regard to secondary considerations, and is in danger of becoming inadequate to the sphere in which it was to be utilized. Doubtless, the analytic way also leads to certain final difficulties and obscurities in regard to sexuality and its relation to the whole life of the individual; but these cannot be set aside by speculations, and must wait till solutions will be found by means of other observations or of observations in other spheres.

I shall briefly discuss the history of dream-interpretation. This came to me as the first-fruits of the technical innovation, after, following a dim presentiment, I had decided to replace hypnosis with free associations. It was not the understanding of dreams towards which my curiosity was originally directed. I do not know of any influences which had guided my interest to this or inspired me with any helpful expectations. Before the cessation of my intercourse with Breuer I hardly had time to tell him, in so many words, that I now knew how to translate dreams. During the development of these discoveries the symbolism of the language of dreams was about the last thing which became known to me, since, for the understanding of symbols, the associations of the dreamer offer but little help. As I have held fast to the habit of first studying things themselves, before looking them up in books, I was able to ascertain for myself the symbolism of dreams before I was directed to it by the work of Sherner. Only later I came to value fully this means of expression of dreams. This was partly due to the influence of the works of Steckel, who was at first very meritorious but who later became most perfunctory. The close connection between the psycho-